I try to stay on the positive side of looking for ways to live a meaningful life. 

I picked up an idea from an interesting English writer—Oliver Burkeman who writes The Imperfectionist blog and wrote the influential book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.

Let’s say you go to a nice restaurant. They show you to a table. You and your guest are seated. They hand you an elegantly printed menu. You look over all the options presented and choose. Perhaps you choose an appetizer to start dinner. Then you choose a salad, an entré, and a dessert. Perhaps a bottle of wine to complement the meal.

Now, let’s change the venue. You are at your desk. You need to decide what to do next. You look at your to do list. You know, that list that never stops growing thanks to email and Slack and other computerized incoming enemies.

Do you just take the top item? Do it? Check it off? Then look at the next thing?

Do you look at the list and panic at its size?

How about your email? You read about “inbox zero” but know that it is an unachievable vision of heaven.

Burkeman suggests looking at these things like a menu. Ah, I’m presented with a fine list of options. Which shall I work on now? I will select this one first as an appetizer. Later I’ll select the entré.

Thank you, Oliver. Somehow I feel a little better about the whole productivity thing.

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